Friday, February 8, 2008

Trying Our Best

Although I try and post every day (except Friday-Saturday), I am not promising it. (This will be more frequent as Passover approaches.) Besides, if I don’t have a good idea, why should I push rubbish into your minds? But yesterday’s lack of posting was not for the lack of a good idea. It was because I was too busy cleaning.

I think we all know that daughters-in-laws are apprehensive when their husband’s mother comes to visit. They will clean up a bit (or a lot), and try and make a good impression. This is one reason I would never “pop in” on my sons without calling first.
But it isn’t limited to mother-in-laws, either. My son and his family are coming for Shabbas (Saturday), and I made time to clean up the house as well as I could. Suddenly, all the places I have been meaning to “get to” screamed out their unseemliness as I saw them through my imagined “daughter-in-law glasses”.
It is hard enough for a daughter-in-law to pack up for the weekend, schlepping two children and a suitcase. In addition, there is less privacy, and undoubtedly the pressure on her to show a good face. In addition, the weather here in the summer is hot. All of this means that they don’t come that often. So why should I allow the house to be dirty, a factor that could only decrease their visits?
But frankly, it goes even beyond this. If the computer technician is coming, I will straighten up the room where the computer is located. If the stove needs fixing, I will move it and sweep behind it before “Mr. Fix-It” arrives. Why? What do I care if this fellow, who I have no need to impress, sees a dirty floor?
The answer is simple. The technician, who does not know me, will also not know all the varied reasons that my housecleaning is not up to par. And we all like to “look good”, and earn the respect of others. If we do not have the self-respect to try and make a good impression, if we don’t care about the opinions of others, it shows a lack of being connected to others. Yet at the same time, we have to have enough self respect to not overdo beyond our reasonable capabilities. After all, we are NOT our floors, and we have worth far beyond them.
So how much time did I spend cleaning, you ask? I plead the 5th.

No comments: